"Measurement of quality of life in advanced ovarian cancer - can we keep it simple?"

Project Summary and Objectives:

Incorporation of quality of life (QOL) assessments in clinical trials is increasing and it is becoming widely accepted by health and medical professionals that QOL measurements are equally as important as survival measures.

The study described here has a primary aim to compare the use of a cross-sectional survey with a longitudinal survey to evaluate QOL and sexual activity.

Longitudinal studies provide comprehensive data indicating changes over time for individual patients, but are potentially expensive and are often subject to incomplete follow-up data as a result of patient non-compliance. Cross-sectional studies, however, are much simpler and cheaper, but variation in an individual patientís health status over time cannot be assessed.

The researchers hypothesis is that a cross-sectional survey can adequately detect differences between treatments and also time trends in QOL within groups of patients without having to rely on labour-intensive longitudinal studies.

The secondary aim of the study is to determine the effects of interferon-alpha on QOL in advanced ovarian cancer patients, placing particular emphasis on the effect on sexual activity.


Stead, M. L., Crocombe, W. D., Fallowfield, L. J., Selby, P., Perren, T. J., Garry, R., and Brown, J. M. (1999) Sexual activity questionnaires in clinical trials: acceptability to patients with gynaecological disorders.,   British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (January 1999, Vol 106, pp. 50-54)

Further information can be obtained from:

Mrs Maxine Stead
Head of Trial Co-ordination Section
c/o Northern and
Yorkshire Clinical Trials and Research Unit
Yorkshire Cancer Organisation
University of Leeds
Arthington House
Hospital Lane

Leeds    LS16 6QB

All contents copyright © Department of Health. All rights reserved.
Page maintained by Helen Bailey

Last updated 22 November 2004
This page looks best when viewed with either MS Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator